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CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - FEW BREWS BEER CLUB

 
As a kid, up until my junior/senior year of high school, I lived with asthma — tied to my inhaler and destined to play all of the non-running positions on my school sports teams. For those who don’t know, asthma is a disease that when triggered swells the airways inside a person’s lungs, making it extremely hard to breath. It is often induced by exercise and can leaving you grasping for air without warning. As an active kid, it was a struggle I dealt with on a daily basis.
Fortunately, by the time I graduated from high school and went to college, my asthma completely went away. Inspired by my dad, who had nearly 10 marathons under his belt, I began to run. And once I found out I could run... oh man. I was in love, completely enthralled by the new experience, and wasn’t going to let anything get in my way! On winter break my freshman year of college, I decided to sign up for my very first race... the 2006 Lasalle Bank Chicago Marathon! Because why not, right?

As shy as I can sometimes be (hey, I’m working on it), it’s that kind of crazy that defines me as a runner. At one point, I was training 6 days a week, running up to 15 miles on an indoor track, where 10 laps equaled a mile. Uhh yeah, crazy! I’m always up for a challenge... always, and the confidence I’ve gained from holding onto this perspective has helped me grow in ways I could have never imagined, both as a runner and person. I’ve since run 5 marathons, and I’m still as in love with it as the day I started!

One non-running accomplishment I’m proud of is starting Few Brews Beer Club and Few Brews Podcast, with my friends Dylan Nelson and Jorge Lopez. While the club was started on a whim, it has developed into a place for casual beer drinkers and industry-involved enthusiasts to find common ground and celebrate the craft. At our monthly events, we want to stay away from the pretentiousness sometimes associated with craft beer and strive to be a part of a community where everyone feels comfortable contributing to the discussion. And folks, it’s beer. While it certainly deserves to be explored, learned about and understood; let’s not forget it’s meant to be shared and enjoyed with friends! Ha, like this group would ever forget... Cheers, everyone!
— Tommy Crawford
I’ve always been a decent runner, but I always saw it as something I just had to do. Whether it was running home from school on Chicago’s south side to avoid getting caught up in gang fights, to my short-lived soccer career in high school, to running on military bases all over the world for physical training. Running has always been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, but my heart was never in it... Until now.

My brother-in-law Jaime “Don’t-Call-Me-JayME” Gascon knew I ran every so often, so he invited me out for a crew run one random Thursday night in August 2013. My life has never been the same since.

The Few Brews Podcast that I host with Tommy Crawford would never exist if it wasn’t for this group. The beer club and the podcast are just more ways for us to be able to spend time with the people whose company we really enjoy while having a few brews. This crew just has a special way of bringing people together.

After 5 long years in the Army, I finally started to understand what it meant to be accepted among your peers. I started to understand what self-confidence really meant and allowed myself to accept these positive changes that had always felt so foreign in my life. I’m happy and actually mean it.

I’m still that kid from the south side of Chicago. I’m still that soldier. I feel them in my heart every time I lace up my running shoes. They’re both right there. Running fast. Running hard... but without the fear.
— Jorge Lopez